7 Causes of upper back pain in females
August 26, 2022

The human back consists of a complex structure of muscles, the spine, ligaments, tendons, and bones. It is one of the load-bearing areas of our body. Back pain is therefore a very common problem. In general, almost everyone will experience back pain during their lifetime. It has multiple reasons from minor to major. Back pain affects every age group for different reasons. As people age, the chances of back pain increase. Back pain can range from mild, intermittent, persistent, severe, and disabling pain. Like, Females nowadays mostly feel upper back pain during pregnancy.

The way you walk, sit or move often affects the health of your back. There are 24 vertebrae (small bones) that are collectively known as the spine. These small bones are connected by a gel-like cushion called the vertebral disc. So when one of them gets hurt, you can feel a dull, aching pain. There are other serious reasons for back pain. Not all back pain is the same. so be careful when you have recurring back pain.

Here are the causes:

  1. Piriformis syndrome

Pain originating from spasms in your piriformis muscle, a large muscle located deep in your buttocks, is called piriformis syndrome. Women are more affected due to hormonal and pregnancy changes in the pelvis.

Piriformis syndrome often causes irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve, mimicking the pain of sciatica. Piriformis syndrome can cause:

  • Chronic pain in the buttock and hip area that worsens with hip movements

  • Pain when you get out of bed

  • Inability to sit for long periods of time

  • Radiating pain in the back of the thigh and leg

  • Symptoms usually improve when you lie on your back.

  1. Dysfunction of the sacroiliac joint

Pain from your sacroiliac (SI) joint, which connects the lower part of your spine to your pelvis, is called sacroiliac joint dysfunction or sacroiliitis. Problems with the SI joints are among the more common causes of lower back pain.

Women typically have a smaller SI joint surface compared to men, resulting in a higher stress concentration in the joint. The sacrum is also wider, more uneven, less curved, and tilted more backward in women, which can cause problems in the SI joint. These factors and several other anatomical differences may lead to a higher risk of SI joint misalignment, especially in younger women. SI joint dysfunction can also cause sciatica-like symptoms. Common features include:

  • Lower back pain

  • A dull or aching pain right above the buttocks that can occasionally develop into a sharp pain

  • Sharp, stabbing or shooting pain in the thigh, usually not extending beyond the knee

  • SI joint pain usually increases when sitting, lying on the affected side, and/or climbing stairs.

However, you may also be back due to dosralgia.

  1. Spinal arthrosis

Wear and tear arthritis (osteoarthritis) of the facet joints (the joints that connect your vertebrae) is common in women. The risk is greater with increasing age and/or weight.

Spinal osteoarthritis causes the breakdown of the fibrocartilage in the facet joints. Without the cushioning that cartilage provides, your bones can rub and cause pain. Osteoarthritis of the lower back can cause:

  • Pain in the upper or lower back, groin, buttocks, and thighs

  • Stiffness and back pain in the morning

  • Occasional flare-ups of severe pain

The pain may appear on one side of the back, worsen with external pressure, and/or ease when you arch the spine forward.

  1. Degenerative spondylolisthesis

When a vertebra in your spine slips over the one below it due to degeneration, it is called degenerative spondylolisthesis. This condition is more common in postmenopausal women due to lower estrogen levels.

When estrogen levels are low, there is increased degradation of the vertebral disc and loosening of the ligaments that hold the vertebrae together – causing spinal instability. There is also a higher chance of associated spinal osteoarthritis in this age group, increasing the risk of vertebral slippage.

Degenerative spondylolisthesis can cause Lower back pain with radiating leg pain.

  1. Coccydynia (coccyx pain)

Pain in the tail of the spine (coccyx) occurs mainly as a result of trauma. This condition is more common in women due to differences in the shape and angle of the pelvis and injuries during childbirth.

The coccyx serves as supporting support when you sit. Injury to this area can cause pain while:

  • Sitting

  • Lean back slightly when sitting

  • Sitting on hard surfaces

  • Getting up from sitting

As soon as you stand up, the pain of coccydynia suddenly subsides. You may prefer to sit by leaning forward or leaning on one buttock to avoid coccyx pain. But that’s not it. You may also have pain in your spine due to your wrong food intake. As well back pain and diabetes have a s strong connection in between.

  1. Spinal osteoporosis fractures

When your bone density decreases, making it brittle and prone to fractures, the condition is called osteoporosis. Osteoporosis occurs when there is more bone loss compared to new bone formation. Postmenopausal women are 4 times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. This disparity may be due to a lack of the hormone estrogen, bone loss at a younger age, and faster bone loss.

  1. Upper back pain during pregnancy

Upper back pain during pregnancy is very common. This happens as your center of gravity shifts, you gain weight, and your hormones loosen ligaments in preparation for labor.

Most women experience back pain between the fifth and seventh months of pregnancy, but it can start much earlier. You are more likely to have back pain during pregnancy if you already have lower back problems. The most common place for pain is right below the waist and across the tailbone. You may also have pain in the middle of your back, and around your waist. This pain may radiate to the legs.

Common ways to Treat Upper Back Pain While Pregnant

Fortunately, there are many steps to reduce the pain that you can take to relieve back pain. Here are some remedies to alleviate the pain during pregnancy.

1. Take Care of Your Shoes

This is not the kind of smoothness in those stilettos. Heels will put unnecessary stress on your spinal cord and will directly contribute to more pain. Wear flats as much as possible and choose the ones that fit best, are made of natural materials, and have good footing.

2. Keep the Right Position

Yes, it can be very difficult to stay upright when your stomach is pushing your posture forward. But you should keep your shoulders relaxed and your spine straight, especially when walking to reduce the load on your spinal column. Change your position as often as possible to avoid placing too much stress in one place.

You should also learn to bend your body properly now that you are carrying a lot of extra weight. Bend your knees first before leaning down and lift your body with your knees instead of your back.

3. Sleep in the Right Place

Lying on your back is not easy as all that weight is piled up on you so you have to turn to lie on your right side. You can use those pillows specially designed for pregnant women to improve your sleep quality.

4. Do Exercise

Because you are carrying all that extra weight, exercise may be the last thing you want to do. But moving your body is important so that you do not get overweight. For most women, 14 pounds of pregnancy weight is enough. Try not to exceed the limit of weight gain. Walking and swimming are good exercises for pregnant women. Make sure you get your doctor’s approval first before doing anything strenuous.